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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  070705 Moderators: bert
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  Author    070705  (currently 8944 views)
Don
Posted: June 24th, 2008, 6:37pm Report to Moderator
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070705 by Stephen Brown (stebrown) - Short - 7th July 2005. London. A love story unfolds. 3 pages - pdf, format


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Angry Bear
Posted: June 24th, 2008, 8:40pm Report to Moderator
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Hmmm.....

I'm not sure what my emotions was here.

This was very serious stuff.

We have a girl who's trying to make up with her bf and a muslim man blowing up a crowded bus. In just 3 pages it's important I think to really get your point across and establish the characters. IMHO, I think you might have spent too much time on text messages and not enough time with the muslim man.

I think this might work better if the muslim man is not identified as such. You can perhaps give him "arab" features, but don't call him a muslim man. As soon as I read that I knew where this was heading. Make him a little more normal looking. An Arab man, but maybe in western clothing. Make him a little more mysterious too. By stating he's a muslim man clutching a bag and sweating you give it all away.

I also would have like some interaction between the girl and the terrorist. Even if just a quick look and a smile. Just something.

Anyway, not too much you can say about 3 pages. Good, but can be made just a tad better IMHO.  


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stebrown
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Thanks for checking this out Pia

First, I have to blame Jeff Buckley and Quentin Tarantino for this. I was listening to 'Last Goodbye' when I thought of this and had just watched 'Death Proof' the day before. Hence the love song and the text messages. This was an idea I was thinking of for the moviepoet silence comp but decided against it.

Muslim was a complete mistake. I actually meant to use the word Arabian, so I totally agree with you about that. It's based on the London bombings of the same date.

I wanted the outcome to be obvious early on to the audience/reader though, as I thought that would make her emotions more tragic. 'We' know that her making up with her boyfriend is going to be pointless but she doesn't. I just kind of wanted two stories unfolding at once, the bg story making the main story irrelevant but more harrowing.....that was the aim anyways.

Thanks again

Ste



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stebrown  -  June 25th, 2008, 7:52am
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dogglebe
Posted: June 25th, 2008, 9:31am Report to Moderator
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I agree with Pia.  You put way too much into a three page story.

There was no time to feel anything for the characters so, when the shit hit the fan, I just didn't care.  And the 'muslim' character was over-the-top obvious.

IMHO, the best thing for this story is to expand on it to build a little suspense.  Maybe even include other passengers on the bus.  Everything came at us too fast.


Phil
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stebrown
Posted: June 25th, 2008, 9:56am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Phil

The suspense of the story is supposed to come from her texts to her ex. That is the main story of the script. Because she's listening to the music, she isn't interacting with anyone on the bus. That's just how I chose to do it.

The story of the muslim man is going on, apparent only to the other passangers and to the reader/viewer. I take your point that it's a little too obvious but I didn't want the end to be a shock.

I appreciate you checking it out and both your's and Pia's points are probably right, but it isn't the way I wanted to go with this.

Ste


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alffy
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Hey Ste, I'm gonna echo Phil's comments here, things just happened a little too fast.  If you had  a few different characters on the bus, each telling their own little story I think it would have a bigger impact.

This is a tough subject and I remember the day well, the news alerts seemed almost unreal at the time.  A pat on the back for tackling a strong subject mind.  I'm not saying it was bad but just lacked the emotion it deserves.


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stebrown
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Yeah okay, I'll accept that this one didn't work and again I'll blame Tarantino and Jeff Buckley haha

It's something that I thought would look good on screen, but maybe it doesn't come across in reading it. Normally I would do a rewrite based on people's suggestions but I'm not with this one. I really didn't want to get into the story of the terrorist at all really, it's more supposed to be the effect on an innocent victim.

Your idea of a little story for each passanger is good though. The subject matter is just something I didn't want to dive too deep into.

Cheers for the read.

Ste


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Posted: June 25th, 2008, 2:11pm Report to Moderator
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This was an intense 3-page script! Like Pia, I feel as though stating that it was a Muslim man sweating while rummaging through his bag just gives too much away. I knew immediately what was gonna happen.

I really hope nobody texts like that anymore. I'm sorry, but I hate it when people do tat, it's so immature and 8th grader-ish. Just a pet peeve of mine.

What would have been cool was to focus on people in the area, as Phil suggested. Focus on Sophie as she's sitting right next to the Muslim man. Focus on Joe as he's walking through the city streets. Focus on a person on the top of the bus, on a person on the bottom of the bus, on a person inside a clothing store next to the explosion or something. It would be really cool to introduce all those characters smoothly, and then show their POVs of what it's like to be caught up in the explosion (except for Joe, who you can have him--and everyone around him--stop when they hear the explosion).


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stebrown
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CHeers for checking it out Sean, I hate texts like that too. Didn't know how it would be taken having it as the main part of a script.

I wanted kind of a music video feel to this. Was just listening to a song on the bus and kind of pictured this playing out. That's why I'm not thinking of expanding it and just really posted it to see what people thought of it. Anyone who would want to expand it and use it themselves have my full permission.

Ste


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CindyLKeller
Posted: June 26th, 2008, 5:04am Report to Moderator
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Hey ste,

What do you mean this didn't work?
I think it could with only a little work. ..
but I don't like the text messages. I guess I'm lazy when it comes to viewing a movie. I don't want to have to do any work at all. Not even read...

So I think maybe her calling her guy, then getting his answering machine would be better.

There could be little shots, like her twisting her ring. Her staring outside the bus.

Then what if the terrorist sat next to her while she was waiting to hear back from her guy?

And I don't think you should give away his bag until the end, After she gets a phone call  from her man and they make up. Maybe she notices wires in his bag?

Cindy


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stebrown
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Thanks Cindy

The text messages were based on the scene in 'Death Proof'. I just thought it was really clever how it was kind of a love scene played out over a mobile phone. Also, I wanted to show how she changes her mind about saying that she loves him - hence her deleting the first message she types. I couldn't have done that with a voice message.

I'm accepting it didn't work because the points people are saying are totally valid, but I kinda like it as it is. Maybe, this will just be a scene that I use in a future feature.

Appreciate your comments.

Ste


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Scarlet101
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Hey Ste

I think if you where to focus on four or five different characters on the bus and write each of there POV as they get on the bus that day you would need to stretch the script to a full feature.
Oliver Stone did the same thing on WORLD TRADE CENTER but i dont think it worked at all

However if your main and only character was the terrorist you could focus on all the thoughts going through his head and show the demons he fights as he is about to do the unthinkable. I think this would be much more interesting to read and write about.
And should be more suited to a short script.

Scarlet
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Mr.Z
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Hey Stephen,

Powerfull stuff. Lots of conflict here.

I agree with the readers before me. The second I read “muslim” I knew how it would end; you need to describe him in a more subtle way.

There’s nothing wrong with the ending, but IMHO, is a bit weak, since it’s just the obvious aftermath of what happened before.

I think you need to brainstorm  additional dramatic layers and add some kind of reveal or surprise. Like (stupid example) Sophie’s boyfriend was the one who planned the attack and didn’t know she was there.

Not a bad idea for a 3 pager. With a little more work, it could really shine.

Hope this helps.


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stebrown
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Thanks for the comments Scarlet/Z

This is one I might come back to at a later date.

Ste


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NiK
Posted: June 27th, 2008, 3:17am Report to Moderator
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Hi Stephen

Well first let me say that i have written a script of this kind myself but it's very
different. It in nonlinear structure. But thats not the matter. Also i didn't read the previous reviews, so this is my thought after reading it.

SPOILER!

As soon as i read MUSLIM i knew how it was going to end up. I would advice you to find another name for the character, plus that name includes every Muslim person. So when i read it, it included even me. Yes, I'm Muslim, imagine if the name Muslim would be changed with Christian or Buddhist?
I know it wouldn't lead you to terrorism, because since 9/11 the word Muslim is associated to terrorism
And that's not true.

I would suggest that you go more deeply inside that character and expand him. Then your mention of the bag at his knees doesn't leave us thinking about anything, because we already know how it will end up!

I watched Paradise Now and that was my inspiration for the short I'm writing. If you watch it you'll see that it treats terrorists very differently. The ending sequence [also in a bus] doesn't leave clues to what that person is.

To conclude it i would say that you should try to expand it, 3 page do not fulfill your quest!

All the best Stephen!

NiK



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stebrown
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Thanks Nik

First off, apologies if that caused any offence. It was a genuine mistake to use the word muslim, it was meant to be Arabian. This is based on the London bombings of 7th July 2005 and therefore the terrorist in this is based on the terrorists who were involved in that.

Cheers for checking it out.

Ste


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sniper
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Hey Ste,

I liked this one.

I agree that changing MUSLIM to ARABIC or PAKISTANI etc. would probably work better, although most terrorism around the world lately has been done by people who call themselves MUSLIMS. Is it stereotypical to use the term MUSLIM in this context? Sure. But guess what, so is real life.

What I think could have worked better in this script is that instead of Sophie sending Joe a text message, she should be leaving a message on his answering service (you could still do it mute though, you can wait to reveal what she says until we hear it when Joe listens to it). And Joe should hear a glimpse of the explosion when he listens to the message, that way it better connect the dots when he sees the images on the TV (that would work better imo. than him watching the names of the ones who have died - which they knew pretty damn fast if you ask me).

If you want to twist it a bit further, you could have the MUSLIM leave a message for someone he loves as well. That way you could build some extra emotions into the story.

Anyway, good work.

Cheers
Rob


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NiK
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Quoted from stebrown
Thanks Nik

First off, apologies if that caused any offence. It was a genuine mistake to use the word muslim, it was meant to be Arabian. This is based on the London bombings of 7th July 2005 and therefore the terrorist in this is based on the terrorists who were involved in that.

Cheers for checking it out.

Ste



No offense Ste. I hope you nail it good.

Cheers



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stebrown
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Cheers Rob

Pleased you liked it.

The muslim mistake was because it's a religion. It doesn't say anything about how the character looks.

If I do come to change it I'll keep the text messages, just I wanted to show her changing her mind. Plus I want to keep the song on her I-POD playing. What I'm thinking of is actually showing how/why they broke up in the first place. If I make this 10 pages long and introduce the terrorist on page 4/5 a little less obviously maybe that'll give it a bigger impact?

This is just one of those music videos you make up in your head while listenign to a song driving along....or am I the only one who does that? haha

Ste


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Zack
Posted: June 27th, 2008, 5:12pm Report to Moderator
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I liked this Ste, and I don't mind that the Muslim man is obviously gonna do something. Actually, for me it helped build tension.

Not much more too say. It was a well written, entertaining piece. Good work.

~Zack~


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stebrown
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Ayham

You make valid points, and I'm not going to get into a debate about terrorism or how certain races are viewed due to terrorist activity. My script is not about that.

This is a made up story based during an actual event, it isn't a comment on anything apart from what someone might have lost during the London bombings. As it is an actual event I had to base the character who commited the act on who actually did it. My choice of wording may have been wrong, but that's not down to any prejudice against muslims or arabian people.

Your point about the Nazis and Christians is a good one, but how many films have been made based around that? Quite a few, and who were the villains in them? People playing Nazis or Christians.

I don't take it as a personal attack, and as you didn't read the story I obviously don't take it as an attack on that. Just felt I had to reply to the points you raised.

Zack

Thanks for the read. The fact of the obvious outcome was meant to build the suspense, so pleased you felt that worked.

Ste


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filmmanvick16
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I thought the script was fairly well written and played some to some nice visual imagery, though I also felt that there was no character development or story and, frankly, I didn't see what the point of the script was? I also thought it was rather stereotypical and awkward to have a MOSLEM man commit suicide.
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YaBoyTopher
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I think im in the minority here but i really liked this script and i get exactly what you were trying to do here.

I like the music playing blocking out all noise and the bulk of the story be told through text message, I also think it is good that everyone knows what is going to happen from the beginning for me it adds to the drama.

What everyone needs to remember is this is based on a real event so if this were made into a film (which i think it could be made into a very good short) then most people would know what is going to happen going in, Just like in World Trade Center or Titanic people knew what was going to happen but it didn't detract from the drama it enhanced it.

My suggestion would be to try and expand this a little bit i like the idea of showing maybe three different people on the bus and what they are going through in the minutes leading up to the explosion.

But really i think this is a solid piece that i can see being made into a very good short,  if you have the inspiration to try and stretch this to 10-20 minutes and add a little more meat with some more characters it would be even better imo.

The only minor gripe i had was the ending... I wasnt crazy about it... I think it might be better with him just calling and getting her answering machine and it just ends their, The audience knows what happened to her we dont really need to see his reaction so much.

With all that said, Even if you leave it be i think its a fine piece of work.

Nice Job.


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n7
Posted: July 4th, 2008, 12:37am Report to Moderator
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Hi Ste,
Solid story, just too much too fit in to such a short piece. I read over some of the other reviews and agree it could easliy be expanded. Good characters, good descriptions, but there's only so much you can fit in that few pages. It may not be enough for a 100 pg. script, but it definitely could use a thourougly fleshed out 10 pg plotline. Overall it was written really well, but don't be afraid to add some backstory to the characters so the reader can care about the characters.
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jackx
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hey,  not too much to add that hasn't already been said.  definately was too short to develop any emotion about the characters love situation.  I agree that seeing the explosion on tv doesn't work, its too quick to be on tv, and too much of a leap for him to know its connected.  but an explosion of that size could be felt several blocks away, so he could just be walking, hear and feel the explosion, then have people a few blocks away running and screaming, and that would pretty much imply what had happened.  also there's no reason for it to be a terrorist right?  it could just as easily have been a car crash or a bolt of lightning or anything else.  if your going to make it a terrorist there should be a reason within the story, rather than just using terrorist attack as the fill in the blank disaster.


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Astrid
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When I read of a Muslim on a bus I didn't think he'd blow himself up. It just seemed to obvious, too easy. I thought it would end on kind of a light hearted note with him, after finally having found his own phone, texting his GF who he is having teh same kind of problems with as Sophie is...connecting the two and reminding us of our shared experiences. And then of course we would all feel bad for assuming he was a terroist. Cheesy, I know!

As it is it's ok, but too obvious. Still if I was watching it and not "reviewing" it it would be touching. I thought it was well paced. Enought information was given to make me feel something.

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jayrex
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Hey Ste,

Checked out this script.  Not bad.  Everything that could be said has been mentioned.

Any plans on lengthening the script?

All the best,


Javier


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Any short that drags NIK out of hiding is cool in books. Hi NIK.

Short and sweet. I like this one. The ending was haunting and beautiful and very poetic, the answering message when Joe ring the perfect metaphor for Sophie being wiped out of existince (including her phone)



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steven8
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I liked this just as it was written, Muslim references and all.  That is for the crew behind the scenes, not the people watching.  The director will get the idea.

The only thing is, if her phone was destroyed, would he reach a voice mail at all, or would he get one of those, "The user you are trying to reach can not be located." messages?
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07/07/05 is a day I remember so clearly - the day before we'd won the right to host the Olympics, London was celebrating, and then suddenly...

I'm afraid I wasn't quite sure what to make of this. I completely got what you were going for, and I enjoyed it, but I completely disagree with those who say that you should explore more of the terrorist's motivation. This isn't a fictional character, his name was Hasib Hussain, he was 18, and what he did killed 13 people. I think it would work better if you didn't show him at all, actually. I just don't think that you, or I, or any of us could even begin to get inside the mind of someone who'd do that, and I think any attempt to do so would come across as insensitive and exploitative, even though I know that your intentions would have been good.

One change I would suggest - at the end, I doubt Sophie's phone would still be intact. I remember watching a documentary about an air disaster once and there was a dad talking about how he kept trying to phone his son's mobile and all he got was that woman's voice saying, "The number you have dialed is currently unavailable. Please call again later." I'm sure you know the voice - we've all heard it! I think just that voice, repeating over and over again as he watches the news reports, would be a better ending.

So yeah, a sad script. But one I definitely connected with. Good job.


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colkurtz8
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Ste

This does carry some weight. A powerful, no frills little piece, just pure, honest storytelling. Besides the tragedy and loss of life experienced that day I recall it coming right after Live 8, thus completely nullifying any impact that was gonna have on the G8 summit as these events (rightfully) took up all the media. Great fodder for conspiracy theorists, that whole chain of events...but thats another story for another 20 million forums across the net.

For what you were attempting here, I felt you hit the nail on the head. However, because its truthfully based on real events where a lot of the time we don't see the satifactory "payoff", well defined antags and protags, beginning, middle and end structure etc etc etc people are going to find it heavy handed, uneven and difficult to endear to.

What you chronicled here, was a horrible, dispicable event (no matter who was responsible) and in fairness to you, you didn't shirk from it. You told a short, simple story of one casualty with no silver lining as thats how it was for people on that day. There was nothing positive from it, only grief and sorrow for those caught up in it.

Well done, a much needed slice of gritty, uncomprimising, albeit short, piece of realism.

Col.


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stebrown
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Thanks everyone for checking this out.

This is a pretty old script and I thought it had ran its course. Good to see most people still see potential in it.

During this period I was writing pretty much every idea that came into my head. That led to a lot of scripts being written but they weren't very well developed. I think now that I've been writing a while I'm more patient and can sit on my ideas for a while to get more out of them. Also I was trying a lot of different genres and techniques, which was the main reason for this script. A script that for the majority of the time, is told through a mobile phone. That is the central theme of the script and was something I wanted to try after seeing the scene in 'Death Proof' which I thought was one of the first love scenes told through a mobile phone text 'conversation'.

Obviously, basing the script around the events of 7th July 2005 adds a bit more relevance to the script. I got the idea while riding the bus and listening to a particular song on my i-pod, that just led me to think about the events that day and that I could have been someone riding the bus that day or anyone could.

Anyway, thanks for checking it out.

Ste


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Kaycee
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Hey stephen,

I have to agree with the others here, I think you have a good story idea but you need to flesh it out a little more. It was predictable how it was going to end as well.

But seen as thats been said I won't go into it.

As for the texts heres just a thought, maybe it would work better as voice overs? Instead of going back and forth into the inserts. Just a thought.

I do hope you work on this one, could be come a very good story.

Kacy
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Andrew
Posted: July 11th, 2009, 4:24pm Report to Moderator
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Ste,

This script taps into the utter devastation felt during the atrocity. It is for this reason that this script carries some weight. Does the narrative encompass all the themes - I assume - you are after? Not entirely. However, it does create a window by which we can view the grief and loss that accompanies these type of attacks.

Life should never be taken with such a pinch of salt, and the love story articulates what actually makes the world go around. The scope of your script was too large for your page count, and it requires a substantial lengthening for a true exploration of 'humans as collateral'.

Andrew


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MStandage
Posted: October 10th, 2018, 9:55pm Report to Moderator
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The piece is very well written.

I would spend less time on the text messages, and more time on the Muslim man.  

I wouldn't call him a Muslim, I would just give him the features of a terrorist.

Blowing up the buss came as a surprise to me, especially when this is listed under rom coms.  I honestly thought that he was nervous because he wanted to hit on her.    

The script didn't really land with me.  That's my input.  
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